While it looks like Rochas head design honcho Marco Zanini is the favourite to take the reigns at Schiaparelli, we were thrilled by the announcement back in April that Christian Lacroix is designing a one-off collection for the reinvigorated brand. The couture pieces will be showcased in salons at Les Arts Décoratifs in presentation that is to kick off Couture Fashion Week on July 21, followed by a series of contributions, by acclaimed contemporary artists in homage to Schiaparelli as "the very first woman to combine art and couture". Lacroix has spoken to WWD about his highly anticipated Schiaparelli collection – here’s what you need to know...
1. Lacroix has designed 18 ensembles in total, which pay tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli whom he described as "an inspiration for all of us.”
2. The designer will present his creations in the same salons where he showcased the final collection for his own label in 2009.
3. The pieces will appear on mannequins with the faces etched to resemble Schiaparelli herself.
4. Visitors to the event will arrive at a cagelike installation inspired by the fantasy passageway in Schiaparelli's first boutique, which was built by Jean-Michel Frank in 1935.
5. The showcase is invitation only, but the collection can be viewed by appointment at Maison Schiaparelli at 21 Place Vendôme in Paris after the three-day exhibition is over.
6. Lacroix feels an affiliation with Schiaparelli: "I think we were really the same, from the Mediterranean, Latin people fascinated by Paris. She loved collage, I loved collage. You couldn’t help being impressed by her daring. She was always inspired by the history of costume, and ethnic clothing. Without being pretentious, it’s exactly the way I like to do fashion, mixing countries and periods and putting them together in a nowadays way.”
7. The couturier focused on the silhouettes, which are synonymous with Schiaparelli including the hourglass, A-line, sari and bustle.
8. Schiaparelli originally closed in the 1950s after struggling to deal with post-war austerity, but Tod's owner Diego Della Valle brought the French fashion house in 2006 and confirmed he would be relaunching it.
9. After years laying dormant the brand gained major exposure as a result of last year's “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” Met Gala at the Costume Institute.
10. Lacroix is set to return to designing for operas, ballets and exhibitions, while a permanent creative director takes over at Schiaparelli.